PapissCisse43Your American friends at I Wish I Was A Geordie would like to invite readers of The Mag to join us in partnership with Papiss Cissé to bring the gift of football to kids in Senegal this holiday season.

In a campaign called “Score For Sédhiou,” our readers are donating virtually indestructible high-tech footballs developed by California’s One World Futbol Project to youth in Cissé’s home region of Sédhiou, Senegal’s most economically undeveloped area. The balls will be distributed via a Newcastle-based nonprofit called Friends of Sédhiou that’s supported by Cissé’s foundation.

We first heard of One World Futbol Project about a month ago via an article and video on The New York Times’ web site. The project’s mission is to make a meaningful impact by bringing the joy of soccer and play to youth around the world. Project co-founder Tim Jahnigen invented the revolutionary ball after watching a documentary about children in Darfur who were forced to play soccer with balls made of trash and string. The ball was originally developed with research funding from a famous Newcastle native who performs under the name Sting. So when we heard about Cissé’s outreach to his home province, we thought a partnership between him as a Newcastle star and One World Futbol would be a natural.

The ball itself is like something out of science fiction. It’s nearly impossible to puncture, it doesn’t need a pump, and it re-inflates by itself if you crush it. As soon as we saw it and kicked it around, my co-bloggers and I began thinking about how we could help get it to young players where a traditional football doesn’t last. Right at that time Friends of Sédhiou tweeted at us asking for our blog’s help spreading the word about their mission. Through One World Futbol we decided to give them more than words.

If you’d like to donate a ball to the children of Sédhiou– with the option to purchase one for yourself as well – visit our homepage at www.newcastleunited.us and click the Score For Sédhiou badge at top left. Updates on the campaign will be available on our blog and via our Twitter feed at @NUFC_US. Thanks and howay the Senegalese lads!

The Christmas issue of The Mag available now in all Tyneside newsagents, or buy a single copy and subscriptions in our online shop, or get a Gift Subscription

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